Mario Art – My thoughts.
Awhile back Henry Davis, a student here at UNC Charlotte, decided to freshen up the scenery on campus with a few Mario chalk drawings. The chalk drawings were a big hit with everyone on campus, except for the administration. Much to the chagrin of many students, Facilities and Management cleaned the drawings jus a few days after their creation.
Many people, including Mr. Ritchie, were incredibly pissed about this, saying that the drawings were harmless, free of profanity, and actually brightened the days of students on campus, rather then labeling them as the work of a graffiti artist. The drawings continued to pop up all over campus as copycat artists joined in on the fun that Davis was having. And once again, these drawings met their demise at the hands of a pressure washer.
The biggest moment thus far occurred when a group of students got together to draw an enormous recreation of Bowser on the bricks outside the Barnhardt Student Activity Center (SAC, for short). The students were in the middle of their artwork when they were accosted by a police officer. Allowed to finish their work, the students could only snap a few fun photographs before being forced to wash the giant Mario-enemy off of the bricks.
Now Henry Davis is being charged with “damage to property and failure to comply.” Students are planning on amassing at the trial in support of Davis, once again citing that these works of art were the farthest thing from vandalism.
At first, I agreed with that crowd. The Mario drawings are/were fun and they do make our campus a little more friendly. But here’s the thing: if we start allowing anybody to draw whatever they want anywhere they want on our campus, where does the line end? Who determines what can be drawn, and where it can go? According the Andrew Bessemer, the rules require all student groups to limit themselves to writing on the sidewalks made of concrete. No chalking should be done to brick walkways or any building. This was done for a reason. If UNC Charlotte decides to allow artists to use their buildings as canvases, what’s stopping people from drawing over the entire building? One Cheep-Cheep on the side of Robinson may not seem like a big deal, but what if people felt it necessary to cover an entire wall in chalk drawings?
The point I’m trying to make is, if the school lets Henry draw whatever he wants wherever he wants, it has to let anyone do the same. The rules limiting this would be impossible to define and it is just easier to not allow anyone to do it. What Davis did, while it was cool and fun to look at, was vandalism, and I for one do not want people to look at UNC Charlotte and say, “that’s the school with all the chalk drawings, right?”
Maybe the school could offer temporary permits to artists looking to do similar things in the future. A week of Mario drawings would be fun, and if the school allowed him to do it, there would be no sneaking around and the problems would end after that week.
That’s all I’ve got to say about this.